It's go time! You've got only 1 more day until the Dance, and you've gotta make your brackets final. Below are some tips for those of you mulling over your bracket, and others for anyone who's playing in a Bracket Pool.
1. Don't watch any College Basketball... Oh dang, too late huh? Guess you'll have to pocket that for next season! I've never met a College Basketball Fanatic who has one a big tournament pool. It typically goes to those that pick based on location or mascot.
2. Which takes me to #2. Always go with the best mascot if you're having a hard time pick. I know it doesn't sound logical, but neither is the first round at times!
3. We overrate upsets. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying upsets aren't significant, I'm just saying that we throw the term "upset" out there just because a 12 seed beats a 5 seed. In this day and age the 8 vs. 9, 7 vs. 10, 6 vs. 11, and 5 vs. 12 are closer than the casual fan thinks. Why are these such tossups? Because typically you have a solid mid-major against an inconsistent BCS team. The only real upsets in my mind are when #13s, #14s, and #15s win (#16s too if that ever happens). And those, happen far less. When a #12 seed is winning over 40% of the time, it's hard to call it an upset. If that clip is closer to 10-15%, then it qualifies, which is where the #13-15 seeds lie.
4. Don't stress about the upsets in the early rounds. If you play in a standard pool, each subsequent round is weighted higher than the previous. The key is getting the Elite 8 and Final Four as close as possible. If you miss that #13 seed winning in the first round, but your Final Four is intact, you've still got a good chance to win, even if you're a little behind at the moment. Who cares if Houston gets Maryland and you get it wrong? Is isn't like you had Maryland beating KU anyways, right? The only case where this doesn't apply is if you play in a gigantic pool. Then you want to get as many picks possible. Now, if one of your deep teams gets upset early, then your bracket is ruined.
5. If you play multiple brackets, then STFU. Serious. I'm not talking about taking the same bracket and playing multiple pools. I'm talking about creating multiple brackets with different picks. Nobody is going to be impressed if you got Wofford over Wisconsin, if in another bracket you had Wisconsin over Wofford. You have no skill, you're just too afraid to lose. Play one bracket and go with it. Easier to keep track, and much more fun.
6. Do not listen to Jay Bilas. You'll thank me later.
7. The people at your work aren't going to have a higher opinion of you, based on your bracket. You aren't going to get that key promotion or raise because you had Kentucky losing to Texas in the 2nd round. The best way to impress people at work, is to do a good job.... at work.
8. Most overrated talking point: The fact that the two teams KU lost to are in their region. First off, if you think Tennessee or Oklahoma State is getting to the Elite Eight, then props to you. Second, if those teams pulled off a couple of unexpected wins, they would face each other in the Sweet 16. If you are looking at KU going far, I'd worry much more about Maryland and Michigan State than the others.
9. Second most overrated talking point: WVU not getting a #1 seed. If WVU ends up getting beat by any of the lower seeds in their bracket, then it just proves they aren't deserving. Let's see where they're at in the Elite 8, and then we'll talk.
10. Don't sleep on Wisconsin. I think they are the best #4 seed, could make a deep run, and no one is talking about them. Why? Because defense wins close ball games. Also, because it's much harder to have an off "defensive" day if you're a good defensive team, than it is to have an off shooting day, if you're a good offensive team. At least that's what I'm going with.
11. Do sleep on New Mexico. They are a sexy pick right now, but when they get to the 2nd round, I see trouble for them against Marquette or Washington.
12. Minnesota is poised for a notable run. A team that underachieved earlier in the year, and has more talent than the '#11' by their name.
13. Weakest #1 Seed: Syracuse. Thing is they play in the easiest region in my mind, and will go further than they should. They won't be the first #1 to get eliminated, but they will not make it to the Final Four. And no, this has nothing to do with Wesley Johnson.
14. If you are hoping to win your pool, ignore #11 -#14. By me writing what I did, Wofford will win in the first round, New Mexico will get to the Elite 8, Minnesota will lose in the first round, and Syracuse will get cutting down the nets in Indy! Did I mention, that I always lose these pools?
15a. Have fun! Don't enter in pools thinking you're going to win money. I hear of people dropping hundreds hoping to win thousands. Stupid. Don't skip out on your child support, just to try to impress a group of people how witty you are. Play a pool with 20-30 people at $5-$10 each. If you suck it up, you're only out $5-10, but if you get lucky, you've got a nice little cashout.
15b. Have fun! If your bracket is shattered by the time the first weekend is over, don't let that ruin the experience of watching arguably the best sporting event there is.
For the record my Final Four is Kansas, K-State, Wisconsin, and Duke, EDIT: I made the change of having Kansas, BYU, Wisconsin, and Duke, with KU winning it all over Duke... Big reason why I made the change this morning is because I think K-State plays down to their opponent's level. I really think BYU will knock them off in the 2nd round... If you're a fan of any of my Final Four teams, this means that you probably aren't going to win it all. Sorry!
If you have any additional bracket tips from your experiences, post it here. Also, feel free who you got!